Protesters: "Our money, we want it now"

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - On Monday, demonstrators gathered outside the education department in Columbia for a protest.

Demonstrators were upset about South Carolina not taking more than $143 million in federal funds to be used for teaching jobs.

Protesters chanted "Our money, we want it now," in front the Department of Education building on Bull Street.

State School Superintendent Mick Zais says that South Carolina didn't qualify for millions in federal funds.

"Federal dollars is not the solution to education in S.C., we need to reorganize and reallocate our priorities and I'm working to do that," said Zais.

'We're always told that we're at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to public education," said Jackie Hicks, S.C. Education Association President. "But then we have a leader of our public schools here in South Carolina not taking this money that would make a tremendous difference for our children in the classroom."

Zais says cuts to colleges are the reason the state didn't qualify and even if South Carolina qualified, we should not take the funds.

August 15 was the deadline to apply for the money.

South Carolina is the only state that will not get a share of the $10 billion congress set aside for teaching jobs last August.

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